As soon as you come up with a business idea and start working on your brand, a question pops up: how will people know about you? On the one hand, there have never been more ways for someone to market their business, while on the other, the competition has never been this fierce either. There are so many ways for you to make your brand known, and yet, digital marketing remains the pillar of modern-day success for any aspiring company. The website is one key element of it all.
And how can you make yourself visible and audible among literally millions of other websites that float in the ever-growing space of the World Wide Web? Well, optimizing your website is a good place to start, and an integral part of any successful marketing strategy that constantly needs to be updated and improved for the sake of your business.
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Be up to speed
It’s not just the search engines that appreciate a website that loads quickly. It’s the customers and readers you should consider, since quality devices, smartphones, computers, and tablets have turned us into quite an impatient bunch. So impatient, in fact, that a fraction of a second can cost you a visitor, a potential lead, and a buyer. In July this year, Google has reflected this user preference in their ranking choices, by penalizing websites that load too slowly on mobile devices.
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However, even if your website doesn’t get penalized by search engines, your customers may still opt-out of your product because of the slow loading speed on your website. Shave off seconds by optimizing your images, plugins, redirects, and other intricacies that affect your speed.
Content remains king
Once you have someone happily browsing on your website, you need something to keep them interested and engaged. That “secret ingredient” of optimized websites is the content – it’s the meat, the essence, the underlying why for your customers to stay and boost your “dwell time”. Simply put, it’s not just about how many people reach your website, it’s how many of them are intrigued enough to linger.
Since no one wants to waste even a single second waiting for a website to load, why would they spend another second on content that doesn’t offer value? This is where your brand identity comes to shine in all of its glory, through unique imagery, original storytelling, and a composition that grabs your visitors’ attention. Google, in particular, loves blog posts that are in the realm of 2,000 words but make sure every word counts, as “fluff” doesn’t cut it.
It’s a marriage, not a fling
You cannot have a one-night stand with your SEO strategy. One-time efforts offer only temporary results, which will do little for your overall brand reputation and recognition. That is precisely why powerful optimization requires commitment, time, consistency, research, and constant learning. As your brand evolves, so will the need for a better, stronger SEO approach.
However, it’s only natural for companies to focus on other aspects of their business, as SEO slowly becomes a full-time responsibility. Learn to recognize the right time to consult an SEO agency that will handle your potential growing pains and make sure that your website reaches the top. When you’re overburdened with other operational issues, experts will help you determine the relevant factors to consider, the most important analytics to take into account, and the best strategies to implement.
Although officially a part of your content strategy, your brand’s visual appeal on the website is a surprisingly relevant factor in the SEO game. To put things in perspective, research shows that content accompanied by the right images gets 94% more views, no matter the category or topic in question. That translates to double your views if you find the right way to pair visuals with words.
Keep in mind that search engines love what users love, so if they notice that a particular website offers more quality information both through images, data that comes with the images, and the written post, they’ll push the website up – provided it meets other criteria as well, of course. Use the right alt text for each image, spread out the use of keywords even through image descriptions, and diversify by using GIFs, memes, videos, infographics, and other visually appealing content.
Love those links
Link-building, outbound links, and internal links still all matter in the chase after a better ranking with search engines. Once upon a time, link-building was only a matter of quantity or getting as many of your website’s links on other websites as possible, but nowadays, Google has refined its filters to weed out the spam. That simply means that you should aim to earn as many links as possible on reputable, authority websites, preferably ones related to your industry.
Add to that the habit of linking back to reputable sources of information in your own content, and adding internal links that connect the most important topics on your website, and Google will love you. However, it’s essential that you master the rules of each search engine, so that you don’t end up penalized for an SEO practice that’s either outdated or frowned upon. That way, your website will stay on the good side of search engines while still educating your target audience!